Sunday, April 16, 2017

Cubs and Reds Stage Miracle Rallies : Friday, August 22nd, 1969


CHI 5, HOU 4 (10inns)  W-Regan 6-6 L-Womack 4-4  HR-Blefary(11) Williams(15)  Popovich 1-out walk-off single.

SF 14, MON 2  W-Bolin 13-10 L-Robertson 9-12  HR-Hart(9)  Hart 6 rbi.

NY 6, LA 4  W-McAndrew 9-11 L-Osteen 13-8  S-McGraw(21)  HR-Jones(8)

SD 4, PHI 2  W-Santorini 5-19 L-Fryman 7-13  S-Reberger(14)  HR-Stahl(6)

CIN 6, PIT 5 (10inns)  W-Granger 7-5 L-Veale 14-9  HR-Stewart(6)ph Stargell(18)

STL 5, ATL 0  W-Taylor 8-8 L-Britton 0-1  HR-Javier(7)

Too much! The Lucky Bus!
Imagine the verbiage your Impartial Goddess may have employed when the hated Tinseltown nine plated 4 runs in the top of the first against the Mets at Shea. Imagine my colorful patois as every roll and circumstance seemed to go their way. Who knew, when Maury Wills singled in the second inning and advanced to third with one out, that the Dodgers had only one hit left in them? Who could have predicted a fly out/ throw 'em out double play to exterminate the threat and prevent Jim McAndrew from being reduced to a "D"? What peerless seer could have predicted that the Mets would score 2, and then 4 more, with the big blow coming off the bat of Cleon Jones in the form of a 3-run HR to give him 8 rbi in the last two games? Who could have envisioned McAndrew advancing to "A" status, or Tug McGraw turning in a flawless inning of relief? In any event, that's what happened. Some credit my newly trotted-out 1960s NYC transit bus, now dubbed the Lucky Bus. 

Fear the mighty Po-Po!
Second-place Chicago looked like they were going down in dismal defeat to fireballer Don Wilson and the Astros, but when he allowed two runners to reach with two out in the bottom of the ninth, and the Spacemen up 4-1, Dooley "Freaking" Womack was ladled out of the Houston bullpen to try to get Ron Santo out. Nothing doing! Ron knocked a two-run double, and then a pinch runner scored the tying run, sending the contest into extra frames. That's when Leo Durocher dusted off little Paul Popovich, who singled home the winning run. The bruins scored all five runs from the 8th inning on, to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. As for Dooley Womack, he is rumored to be on the block following several lackluster performances of late. 

Bill meets his end. (courtesy of Pepper's Dog Blog)
Not to be outdone, The Reds had a rally of their own. After being one-hit by Bob "Hi, Bob!" Veale at Cincinnati, he was setting them down again with regularity, and carried a 5-2 lead into the 9th. However, the big lefty walked a pair, and with 2 out, pinch hitter Jimmy Stewart cranked a three-run bomb to tie the game in front of the dismayed Pittsburgh crowd. "Aw that's swell!" chirped Stewart. Then in the 10th, with Veale still on the hill, Bobby Tolan, who had been mystified by the left-handed slants all day, managed a single, then took off for second. Manny Sanguillen rag-armed the throw into center field, allowing Tolan to advance to third. Up stepped slump-encrusted Lee May, who dinked a single to score Tolan, and although in the excitement Lee managed to get thrown out trying for a double, it was all the Reds and Wayne Granger needed to seal the victory.  As for the Buccos, they are sinking like a stone, and lost the services of Bill "Oh no, Mr. Bill!" Mazeroski for the next ten games while he works on his baseball magazine and rests his smashed-in face after being creamed by a fastball. Kid keystoner Dave Cash returns to the line-up in his stead. 

"Yeegh! There's something crawling up the inside of my uniform!"
Poor Atlanta. With Ron Reed and Pat Jarvis both sidelined for the moment, kid chucker Jim Britton had to toe the slab (why does that sound so gross?) against the Cardinals at Busch. He didn't do too badly, giving up 4 earnies in 7 innings and fanning 9, but Chuck Taylor blanked the teepee dwellers for the second straight start, this time on 3 hits. Asked by a scribe about his future plans, losing pitcher Jim explained, "I plan to really foul up my elbow, get traded to the Expos, make a few more futile appearances in '71, and then fade from the scene!" Oh that youthful exuberance! 

Guess who our favorite player is?
In Montreal, Jim Ray Hart exploded for 6 rbi to lead the San Franciscans past the Expos by a whopping count of 14-2. Ever since Mike McCormick's injury saved him and kept him in the rotation by the hair on his chinny chin chin, Bob "Bolin For Dollars" Bolin has done nothing but win. He hasn't pitched especially well, mind you. He just wins. Cue Reader William's views on the "W". 

"It's amazing, Mr. Stahl. There's not a scratch on you!"
Finally, the unstoppable Pods have cobbled together a real live 3-game winning streak! Of course, this also means that the Phillies' dreadful season has reached a new low, with the Friars stopping the hometown Quakers 4-2, and not only that, but Al "Losing Pitcher" Santorini scored the win! Flyhawk Larry Stahl, only in there against the lefty Fryman due to a lack of living bodies to pencil into the line-up, cranked a two-run shot for the Holy Men. He did this despite twice trying to get injured, but the Magical Protective Shield (TM) that prevents injuries to teams down to a bare minimum of participants swooped in and saved him both times. "I can't be killed!" he crowed, as the glum Philadelphia nine shambled off the field in shame.
The Phillies' team bus is here.

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